Veterinary review of this article includes only the medical information in this article. The veterinarian reviewing this article does not personally endorse, recommend, or vouch for the efficacy or claims of any product mentioned in this article.
The best cat treats are absolutely delicious. Here’s why the irresistibility factor is essential.
Cats are highly food motivated. When you offer them an irresistible treat, they’ll be willing to work to get it. If you’re interested in clicker training and dream of a day when your cat will jump through hoops and shake paws on command, it’s essential to choose a scrumptious treat your cat is willing to work for.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks For Best Cat Treats
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Made with 100% raw salmon
- Rich in protein and omega-3s
- Strong fish flavor and aroma
- Soft texture is easy for senior cats to chew
- Two sources of animal-based protein
- Easily digestible with short ingredients list
- Made with three calming active ingredients
- Affordably priced
- Chewy treats can be broken into pieces
Top Picks Explained
Even if training isn’t your goal, delicious treats make your cat’s life more exciting – and who wants a treat that doesn’t make their cat’s pupils dilate?
The Best Cat Treats Are Also Healthy
Some people dismiss the low nutritional value of certain treats by saying, “It’s a treat. It’s not supposed to be healthy. Don’t worry about it.”
But why shouldn’t cat treats be just as nutritious as they are delicious? Cats love eating the things that are best for their health. As natural carnivores, fresh meat, organs, and bones are some of their favorite things to eat.
If your cat is currently obsessed with a less-than-nutritious treat like Temptations, remember that they’re probably not thrilled by the unsavory parts of the ingredient list. They don’t want corn. They don’t want rice. They don’t want Yellow 5 or Blue 2.
The thing making your cat meow and claw at the bag is a vaguely labeled additive called “natural flavor”.
In cat food, natural flavor typically refers to hydrolyzed animal tissue. This is a highly concentrated animal flavor additive. It’s intensely flavorful and most cats absolutely love it. Other crazy-delicious treats contain animal liver, which is also a concentrated source of the rich, meaty flavor cats long for.
So, knowing that your cat craves meat, skip the sugars, artificial colors, and carbohydrates.
Look for treats that are made from high-quality, simple ingredients like chicken liver, beef meat, and perhaps a little salmon. Avoid treats that contain corn, wheat, soy, added sugar, and other unnecessary additives like artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
What About Cat Treats For Dental Health?
Most treats marketed for dental health capitalize on the premise that crunchy food can scrape plaque off your cat’s teeth, preventing continued dental decay. Current veterinary knowledge suggests, however, that dry food and wet cat food are equally incapable of cleaning your cat’s teeth, so most of these special treats are useless.
Also Read: Best Dental Cat Treats
If you’re passionate about promoting good dental health, you may offer treats infused with bacteria-consuming enzymatic cleaners or even train your cat to let you brush its teeth.
Top 11 Best Cat Treats On The Market
To help you pick the best treats for your cat, we tested dozens of different brands and recipes to bring you our top picks. Read on to see what we think are the best cat treats on the market.
Making Homemade Cat Treats
Many commercial cat treats are packed with carbohydrates and unhealthy additives. They might taste good, but they probably aren’t doing your feline friend any favors in terms of nutrition.
If you want to indulge in your cat’s cravings without taking away from his everyday diet, you might consider making your own cat treats at home.
When it comes to making homemade cat food, you want to stick to a veterinarian-approved recipe to ensure your cat’s needs for balanced nutrition are met. Treats are treats, however. They aren’t intended to make up more than 10% of your cat’s daily diet, so they don’t need to be nutritionally balanced.
That being said, it’s a good idea to choose cat treats that are both good for your cat AND tasty.
Homemade cat treats can be made with a variety of ingredients, but we recommend sticking with meat or fish. These ingredients will be the most flavorful and attractive to your cat and your cat could always use a little extra protein in his diet.
Here’s a quick 5-step recipe for baked tuna treats:
- Empty one drained can of tuna (in water) into your blender.
- Beat one large egg white to stiff peaks then add two tablespoons of the beaten egg whites to the tuna.
- Blend into a smooth paste then drop small mounds of the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Alternatively, spoon the mixture into a freezer bag and snip off the tip so you can pipe it onto the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350°F until the treats are dry. Let cool before serving.
If you don’t have tuna on hand, you may be able to substitute canned salmon or even canned chicken. Don’t be afraid to add a little dried catnip for flavor as well!
Learn more about homemade diets for cats in our handy guide.
- The Complete Guide to Feline Nutrition
- The Best Dental Cat Treats
- The Truth About Grain-Free Diets for Cats
- The 7 Best Cat Treats For Kittens
Frequently Asked Questions
What foods are irresistible to cats?
When shopping for cat treats, look for ingredients your cat won’t be able to resist. This typically includes meaty ingredients like beef, poultry, or fish. Avoid cat treats full of carbohydrate additives and questionable ingredients like “natural flavor.”
Is it bad to give my cat treats every day?
There are no hard and fast rules for how often you can give your cat treats other than to say that treats should make up no more than 10% of your cat’s daily diet. If you’re training your cat or just like showering him with extra love, stick to small, low-calorie treats so you can feed a few extra.
What human food can I give my cat?
If you don’t have any healthy cat treats handy, there are certain human foods which can be safe for cats. Stick to carnivore-friendly foods like cooked chicken breast or oily fish like tuna and mackerel. Avoid fried or processed foods as well as dairy products, especially if your cat is lactose intolerant.